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Best stain remover 2022: Save your clothes and upholstery from unsightly stains

Danielle Amato Matt Breen
18 Aug 2021
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Make sure your fabrics are spotless again with our pick of the best stain removers

An accidental stain on your shirt, sofa or carpet is guaranteed to spoil your day, but choosing the best stain remover to tackle your specific spillage can make light work of stain removal.

There’s nothing worse than finding an unsightly stain, especially one that’s been there for a while. Nine times out of ten, dried stains are harder to treat than fresh ones, and using the wrong kind of product on a stain can leave you no better off than when you started or even make the stain worse.

Different stains require different solutions and, since accidents do happen, every household should be armed with a variety of stain removers to deal with any eventuality. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best stain removers for everything from red wine stains and turmeric to dried-on baby food.

The best stain removers: At a glance

  • Best stain removal spray for stained clothes: Vanish Gold Oxi Action Trigger Spray | Buy now
  • Best for carpet stains: Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover | Buy now
  • Best for red wine stains: Wine Away Stain Remover | Buy now
  • Best grease stain remover: Dr Beckmann Stain Devils | Buy now

How to choose the best stain remover for you

Is there a stain remover for everything?

No matter what the packaging may claim, there is no miraculous cure-all stain remover on the market. Different stains are caused by different things, after all. The tannins in a red wine stain are completely different to the acids of a coffee stain, while the soil in a muddy footprint is completely different to the oil-based particles of a grease mark.

So rather than search for an all-purpose stain remover, you should buy with specific stains in mind. Our roundup of stain removers below is organised by stain type, from drinks to grease.

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Which kind of stain removers should I buy?

This depends on the activities you or your family do on a regular basis. It’s fair to say that everyone will benefit from having a general clothes stain remover, especially if you regularly do sports or lots of cooking – anything where picking up stains is more likely. People who enjoy a glass of pinot noir in the evening will probably be thankful for a red wine stain remover at some point. If you’re a mechanic or love deep fried foods, a grease stain remover will also come in handy.

In reality, it’s not easy to buy for a situation that isn’t planned. So, given how relatively cheap these products are, we suggest you invest in a variety, and have them ready beneath the sink. Better safe than sorry.

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The best stain remover to buy in 2022

1. Vanish Gold Oxi Action Trigger Spray: Best stain removal spray for stained clothes

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

Vanish is a household name in the UK, and for good reason. Time and time again, the brand’s products have been proven to eliminate stains with minimum fuss and effort. Indeed, Vanish claims to see an improvement in stains within 30 seconds – although, in reality, you’re better off being a little more patient.

Once you’ve sprayed the stain, you then rub it with a soft scouring pad and put the garment in the wash. As ever, make sure you do this as soon as it becomes stained, if you can. It’s safe to use on both coloured fabrics and whites, but do be careful as you apply, since it contains a small percentage of bleach.

Key detailsBottle size: 950ml; Bottle type: Spray nozzle


2. Dr Beckmann Carpet Stain Remover: Best for carpet stains

Price: £8 (two bottles) | Buy now from Amazon

Of all the parts of your house, it’s usually carpets that take the brunt of stains, whether from pet paws or kids’ trainers. This product actually comes with a brush attached to its nozzle, so you can work the remover directly into the carpet as soon as you see those mucky footprints.

This is a powerful stain remover that’s intended solely for the tough fibres of floor carpeting, so don’t use this product on softer fabrics like suede, leather and velvet, as it’s likely to do damage. This product actually contains two bottles, so at less than £4 each, they offer terrific value for money.

Key detailsBottle size: 650ml (x2); Bottle type: Brush nozzle


3. Dirtbusters Professional Stain Remover: Best for upholstery stains

Price: £11 | Buy now from Amazon

Of all the stains your furniture upholstery is likely to suffer, tea and coffee are probably among the most common (and red wine: take a look at the entry beneath this one). This upholstery stain remover from Dirtbusters has been developed specifically to deal with tea and coffee stains to remove the brown tannins from fabric fibres.

You simply apply it directly to the stain, blot with a towel, and then rinse thoroughly with water. If it’s a tough stain, you should leave the product there for a good five minutes or treat it twice over.

Key detailsBottle size: 1,000ml; Bottle type: Spray nozzle


4. Wine Away Stain Remover: Best for red wine stains

Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

We’ve all been there: having a laugh with our friends, only to find – one over-enthusiastic hand gesture later – red wine seeping across our clothes, carpet or couch. That’s why it’s good to have this remover from Wine Away tucked beneath your sink: you’ll need to apply it pronto. Despite red wine being a notoriously tough liquid to combat, this remover is gentle and non-toxic. It’s made from fruit and vegetable extracts and has a pleasant citrus scent.

The manufacturers make a point of saying that if it’s a particularly bad spill you should probably run the fabric through the washing machine after you’ve treated it with this.

Key detailsBottle size: 340ml; Bottle type: Spray nozzle


5. Dr Beckmann Stain Devils: Best grease stain remover

Price: £3 | Buy now from Amazon

Grease stains are the sort of thing you don’t notice appearing while you’re cooking or you’re doing repair work with oils and lubricants. Then, by the time you do notice them, they’ve dried and are incredibly difficult to remove. Our first piece of advice would be to wear an apron or overalls and, after that, to pick up this remover: another product from Dr Beckmann. It’s specially formulated to deal with the heavy-duty stains that come from grease-based materials.

Simply pop a clean white cloth under the fabric, apply the remover and leave it to work its magic for three to ten minutes (depending on the stain’s severity). After that, dab away with another clean cloth.

Key detailsBottle size: 50ml; Bottle type: Pour nozzle


6. MPC Eradicate Mattress Stain Remover: Best stain remover for mattresses

Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

Let’s be honest: the sort of stains that mattresses tend to receive are bodily ones (gross). And whether it’s urine, blood, vomit or worse, those are stains that you want to get right off your mattress. This stain remover from MPC Eradicate should do the job, making use of a powerful cleaning agent that will also make short work of dried stains, without any need for scrubbing. This stain remover also helps prevent the growth of dust mites.

It’s pricier than other products on this list, but you’ll be grateful to have it to hand when you need it.

Key detailsBottle size: 500ml; Bottle type: Spray nozzle

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